The romance for sports and muscle cars, especially in America is due to a plethora of reasons including their sleek styling, punchy power, and unwavering performance. But like every other type of car, performance cars are nowhere near perfect. The main issue most people face with their sports cars are their unpredictably high maintenance and repair costs.
The current crop of sports cars and performance cars is largely reliable and durable, but while some are built like a tank, others are meant to stick around for just a few years. Since performance cars are not exactly your typical daily drivers, the fact that some don’t rack up to 200,000 miles doesn’t mean that they are not reliable. That said, here’s a list of five American performance cars that can hit 200,000 miles and five that can’t.
10 Will Last Long: 2005 Ford Mustang GT
Any discussion about the top American muscle cars would be incomplete without mentioning the Ford Mustang GT, which arrived with several upgrades for the 2005 iteration. With a 4.6-liter SOHC modular V8 engine, the ’05 Mustang GT blasts out 300 hp. Unlike the 2004 Mustang with a cast-iron block design, the aluminum block makes the 2005 Mustang 75 pounds lighter and more powerful than the previous model year.
When it comes to longevity, you can be sure the Mustang GT will stand the test of time. It’s not uncommon to see an ’05 Mustang with over 200,000 miles.
9 Will Crumble: 2008 Chrysler Crossfire
The Crossfire looks cool and fast on its feet but according to a study by The Driver Adviser, it is one of the least reliable Chrysler models. With a sample size of 158 Crossfires, the automotive advice website considered factors like the reliability rating, mileage, average annual maintenance, frequency of unscheduled repair shop visits, and probability of unexpected major repairs.
The highest mileage of the Crossfires surveyed was 160,000, with most of them reaching just about 130,000 miles. With that mileage, the Crossfire is expected to soldier on for about 8 years, which is not that impressive for a somewhat pricey car.
8th Will Last Long: 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The 2006 Chevy Corvette Z06 is raw, loud, and fast. Under the hood lies a 427 cubic-inch V8 small block with a factory rating of 505 horsepower. As a practical and budget-friendly ride, the Chevy Corvette Z06 breaks the norm of what a supercar should be like.
Supercars do not exactly come to mind when you think of a reliable car, but the Chevy Corvette is not just any sports car. Take good care of your Corvette and it will go way beyond 200,000 miles. Also known as “the working man’s supercar”, the Chevy Corvette works pretty well and won’t cost a fortune to maintain.
7 Will Crumble: 2002 Firebird Trans Am
The gutsy V8 makes the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am a head-snapping, rip-snorting fun car everyone would love to drive. The 5.3-liter V8 puts out 310 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to push the Firebird from 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds.
The downside of the Pontiac Firebird is that it is not exactly reliable. In a study to know the reliability of Pontiac models, the Firebird came out as one of the least reliable. Analyzing 185 Firebirds, the maximum mileage recorded was just 170,000. In fact, only 3.24% of the analyzed Firebirds exceeded 150,000 miles. The average mileage of the Pontiac Firebird is 130,000, with an approximate lifespan of 10 years.
6 Will Last Long: 2009 Ford Focus RS500
In the early 2000s, no one thought a Ford Focus could hit 300 horsepower, but the American automaker wowed everyone. The Focus RS500 was not designed for the American market though but as a European sendoff.
The big-aero, big-engined, and big-hearted hot hatchback puts out 325 lb-ft of torque and tops out at 165 mph. In terms of service life, the Ford Focus RS500 is pretty long-lasting, with a typical one hitting 250,000 miles, which is roughly 15 years of active service.
5 Will Crumble: 2009 Pontiac G8
Pontiac’s performance-oriented G8 has a firm but compliant ride and sharp handling. The base 2009 G8 comes with an energetic 3.6-liter V6 engine that cranks out 256 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque.
Analyzing 111 Pontiac G8s, The Driver Adviser found that the highest mileage was 180,000. The average Pontiac G8 lasts for about 140,000 miles, with a lifespan of about 10 years.
4 Will Last Long: 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt SS
The 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt SS comes with no significant changes from the previous year and its appeal stems from its price tag and reliability. With a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the 2010 Cobalt SS feels totally different from the rest of the trims, and it churns out 260 hp and sprints to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
A total of 455 Chevrolet Cobalts were analyzed in this The Driver Adviser study and 115 (25.27%) of them have crossed 150,000 miles and a few have even reached 230,000 miles. The study also shows that the Chevrolet Cobalt SS is more reliable than rivals such as Mitsubishi Eclipse and Mazda RX-8.
3 Will Crumble: 2004 Dodge Viper SRT-10
The Dodge Viper is one of the most popular Dodge creations, with a raw growl that can only be matched by a Corvette or Ford GT. The 2004 Dodge Viper SRT-10 comes with a gigantic 8.3-liter V10 that makes 500 horsepower.
The neck-straining acceleration of the Viper makes you feel like you are driving a race car, but note that there are no side airbags or traction control. So, elevated driver skills are needed for the Viper. Also, noteworthy is the fact that Dodge Vipers barely last long. Most Vipers can achieve only 100,000 to 120,000 miles, which is way lower than the mileage of the Corvettes and Mercedes AMGs.
2 Will Last Long: 2009 Dodge Charger R/T
The fearsome look, sharp handling, and straightforward controls of the Dodge Charger appeals to muscle car enthusiasts. With a 5.7-liter V8 that makes 368 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, the Charger R/T is never at a loss for power.
To know just how long the Dodge Charger lasts, a study was carried out with a sample size of 2,881 Chargers. The results show that 11.56% of the tested Dodge Chargers had at least 150,000 miles. The highest recorded mileage of the sampled Chargers was 280,000.
1 Will Crumble: 2015 Dodge Challenger
When in the market for a new or used Dodge Challenger an important question to ask is: how long does it last? You might also want to know how often the Challenger breaks down unexpectedly and what it costs to maintain it. To know how long Challengers last.
The Driver Adviser analyzed over 2,974 Challengers listed on autotrader.com and the result is not what you might have expected considering the Challenger is a reasonably reliable midsize sports car. Only 2.22% of the Challengers exceeded 150,000 miles while 13.52% lasted between 100,000 and 149,000 miles. A staggering 43.85% of the surveyed Challengers lasted only up to 99,999 miles.